How to Put Out a Lawn Mower Fire
If you have a lawnmower fire, it’s essential to know what to do next. This blog post will teach you how to put out a lawn mower fire so that you can avoid any potential danger or property damage. The first step should always be shutting off the fuel and removing the spark plug wire from your lawnmower. Then, if there is a gas can nearby, pour that on the fire as well.
Next, use a garden hose or bucket of water to put out any remaining flames. Lastly, check for any damage around the area that caught on fire and ensure no combustible materials are left behind near your lawnmower. Continue reading this blog post to know these step-by-step instructions in detail.
What Causes Lawn Mower to Catch Fire?
1. Gasoline leaking into the air filter:
If the lawnmower runs out of gas, it will emit a white cloud of smoke upon restarting. The engine may continue to run rough or die after that even if it has enough fuel. If this happens, the air filter is likely clogged with gasoline vapors causing the engine to run lean. This can lead to very high combustion temperatures and eventually melt the plastic air intake box. To prevent this, refuel your lawn mower before it becomes low on gas.
2. Foreign Objects Blocking Airflow:
Tallgrass can be challenging for a lawnmower engine to process because the blades are spinning so fast that they create suction that pulls grass into the air intake. If there is a stick or other object blocking part of the air intake, that suction force will increase and cause the engine to overheat and catch fire.
Be sure to clear any debris from around your lawnmower before you start it up. Never use a leaf blower to clean solid objects like rocks and sticks away from your lawnmower.
3. Clogged Muffler:
The muffler may become clogged with oil and grease that has dripped out of the engine compartment, causing excessive pressure in the combustion chamber. This can ignite grass and leaves stuck in the muffler or even cause a spark when you start the mower.
If this happens, the heat may cause the muffler to soften and fail to release toxic gases into your engine compartment. Therefore, always clean out the clogged muffler before starting up your lawnmower after it has sat for a while.
4. Fuel Hazards:
Adding gasoline to the mower with a higher-than-recommended octane level or mixing two different fuel types, such as gas and ethanol, can cause an engine to run too hot since the wrong ratio of air and fuel is entering the combustion chamber. Likewise, never use non-rated gasoline in your lawn mower if it isn’t specifically meant for it. If you do this, then the engine may run too lean and catch fire.
5. Sparking Plug:
A faulty or incorrectly installed spark plug can create a large enough spark to ignite any oil residue that has fallen out of your lawnmower’s muffler, causing the entire engine compartment to ignite. If this happens, quickly disconnect the spark plug wire and let the engine compartment cool down.
6. Loose or Damaged Capacitor:
The capacitor is responsible for helping to start the ignition process in your lawnmower’s engine. If it fails, the current will not be adequately discharged and create an arc across open points on the wiring harness that may ignite grass and leaves. While it is unlikely for this to happen, always check your lawnmower’s wiring harness and capacitor before you start it up.
How to Put Out a Lawn Mower Fire: Seven Methods to Apply
1. Shut off the Engine:
Shut off the mower’s engine immediately if your lawnmower catches fire. Then, turn the ignition switch to the off position and pull the spark plug wire off of the spark plug. This will ensure that you do not accidentally restart your lawnmower while attempting to put out a fire.
2. Smother the Fire:
Smothering your lawn mower’s engine fire with a handheld fire extinguisher or wet grass may be an effective way to put out a fire while avoiding potential injury. If you choose the latter, soak the surrounding grass with water from a garden hose and then attempt to extinguish the fire with a handheld extinguisher.
3. Douse the Flames:
Dousing your lawn mower’s engine fire with baking soda or dry chemical powder is another effective method. Use a fire extinguisher and remain at a safe distance to avoid any potential injury associated with an engine fire.
4. Open the Fuel Line:
If possible, open your lawnmower’s fuel line or remove the gas tank from your mower before attempting to smother or douse the flames. This will ensure that the fire does not spread to the gas tank and cause further damage.
5. Cut off Oxygen:
If you cannot put out your mower’s fire with a handheld extinguisher, dry chemical powder, or baking soda, use sheet metal cutters to cut off the oxygen intake on the engine compartment. This will prevent the flames from reigniting when any of these methods fail.
6. Remove Flammable Items:
Remove any flammable items from around the engine to remove any available fuel source for the fire. This may include gasoline or oil containers, grass clippings, and old mower blades.
7. Disconnect the Spark Plug Wire:
If you have successfully smothered or doused your lawn mower’s engine fire, wait a few minutes to ensure that it has been effectively extinguished before disconnecting the spark plug wire from the mower’s engine. This step is critical as there may still be a potential for a spark and further damage.
Lawnmower fire safety tips:
1. Do not attempt to extinguish a lawnmower fire while the engine is running, as this may cause further injury.
2. If possible, disconnect your lawnmower’s spark plug wire and shut off its engine before attempting to extinguish the fire.
3. Ensure that you have adequate protective equipment if your lawnmower is stopped in a dry or grassy area.
4. Do not attempt to extinguish the fire by throwing dirt, sand, or other materials onto the fire as this may spread it further and cause extensive damage to your property.
5. Never pour water onto an existing fire with your lawnmower engine still running as you may damage the engine.
The best way to put out a lawnmower fire is by using the correct extinguisher. If you do not have an extinguisher, use water or sand and spray it on the burning area until the flames are gone. While the best way to put out a lawnmower fire is with water and sand, you should never use gasoline or other flammable liquids.
If your lawnmower has recently been refueled, be sure to wait at least one hour before putting it back into service. For more information on how to put out a lawn mower fire, read this full blog. So that you could use this information if something unexpected happens.
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